2022 HSPA Board of Directors Election

HSPA has partnered with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) to administer the 2022 election. If you are an Active or Associate member in good standing, you will receive an email with voting access and instructions from the HSPA Election Coordinator on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. If you are an Active or Associate member and do not receive an email by March 16, 2022, please contact support@directvote.net.

Voting Will Take Place March 15–April 6, 2022

Election Overview

In 2022, HSPA will be filling the following leadership positions:

President-Elect: The President-Elect will serve consecutive one-year terms as President, President-Elect and Past President:

  • President-Elect (2022–2023)
  • President (2023–2024)
  • Past President (2024–2025)

Secretary / Treasurer: The Secretary / Treasurer will serve a two-year term.

Directors: Three Directors will serve a two-year term.

Polls will close at 11:59:59 p.m. CST on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

President-Elect Candidates

/Bondon
ANTHONY BONDON, BSM, ASAET, CRCST, CHL
Manager, Central Sterile Processing
Perioperative Services Department
HSHS St. John’s Hospital
Springfield, Ill.
/Jelks
MONIQUE JELKS, MSOL, BA, CRCST
Area Director, Sterile Processing (Indiana and Tennessee)
The Resource Group/Ascension Health
Indianapolis, Ind.

Secretary/Treasurer Candidates

/Heacock
TAMI HEACOCK, MBA, CRCST, CIS, CHL
Director, Sterile Processing
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Edgewood, Ky.
/Prudent
JAN PRUDENT, BA, CRCST, CIS, CER, CHL, CFER, FCS
Manager, Sterile Processing
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center
Idaho Falls, Idaho

Director (2-year term) Candidates

/Cruz
SARAH B. CRUZ, CSPDT, CRCST, CHL
CS Quality Education Program Development Coordinator
The Bone & Joint Institute of Hartford Hospital, HHC
Hartford, Conn.
/Coke
DENSLEY COKE, MBA, BSHM, CST, CRCST, CHL, CER
Manager, Sterile Processing
Northside Hospital
Cumming, Ga.
/Gantt
BRANDON M. GANTT, MHA, CRCST, CHL, CER
Manager, SPD Education and Training
EHI Shared Surgical Services
Emory Healthcare Inc.
Duluth, Ga.
/Graeter
BEATE GRAETER, MHA, BSN, RN, RCIS, RCES, CRCST, CHL
Director, Sterile Processing
CaroMont Health/CaroMont Regional Medical Center
Gastonia, N.C.
/Hare
KEN HARE, CRCST
Assistant Manager, Sterile Processing
UC San Diego Health–Jacobs Medical Center
La Jolla, Calif.
/Mannan
HAFIZ ABDUL MANNAN, MPhil, BSc, CRCST
In-Charge, CSSD
Hameed Latif Hospital
Lahore, Pakistan

Full List of Candidate Bios, Listed Alphabetically

President-Elect

ANTHONY BONDON, BSM, ASAET, CRCST, CHL

Central Sterile Manager
Perioperative Services Department
HSHS St. John’s Hospital
Springfield, Ill.

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • Secretary-Treasurer, HSPA Foundation Board of Directors (2018–present)
  • President, Illinois/Eastern Missouri Central Service Organization (2017–present)
  • HSPA Board of Directors (2018–2020)
  • HSPA Certification Development Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  • Member, HSPA Nominating Committee (2017–2019)
  • Vice-President, Illinois/Eastern Missouri Central Service Organization (2015–2017)
  • Treasurer, Illinois/Eastern Missouri Central Service Organization (2013–2015)
  • Treasurer, Wisconsin Association of Central Service Professionals (2011–2012)
  • AAMI ST-WG40 Standards Committee (2020–present)

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

We need leadership that will address our association and industry issues relative to patient care, while supporting our membership on a global scale with strong leadership skills. We also need to have compassion and consideration and a willingness to listen to all points of view—all while still doing what is in the best interest of the whole. I cannot think of another opportunity in which a passionate individual like myself could grapple with strategic challenges facing a major institution – and do so alongside experienced, similarly passionate people.

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues? 

HSPA must help integrate our operations that allow its entities to adapt to a more diverse and connected world.  The association has to create and build engagement and value in the association and its membership (for current members and potential future members) through the utilization of committees to build involvement, inclusivity and enthusiasm.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

I had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors and contributing to the development of the current strategic plan and the Association’s new name/rebrand. If I were to become President-Elect, I will support the implementation of the strategic plan and the evolution of our new name, while continuing to support the association’s current mission and vision. I would do this by soliciting the involvement of frontline staff members and aggressively seeking their engagement, their ideas and their concerns. Like nearly everything in life, I find that you get what you give when it comes to board service. The vision of HSPA is the mission. Excellence takes work, passion, and commitment. I believe that our excellence to that commitment increases successful patient outcomes.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

As an industry professional with 17 years of experience and an ordained Administrative Pastor, I have learned to look at organizations in a more holistic manner. While being an advocate for my staff and our patients, I believe that my experience and responsibilities serving in various capacities, along with my diverse education, provide me with a unique skillset. I feel that these skills allow me to be a highly analytical management professional who is passionate about providing high-touch service to everyone. I place an emphasis on “service” because, too often, people feel as if such positions and titles mean that they should be served instead of being a service provider.


MONIQUE JELKS, MSOL, BA, CRCST

Area Director, Sterile Processing (Indiana and Tennessee)
The Resource Group/Ascension Health
Indianapolis, Ind.

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • Director, HSPA Board of Directors (2020–present)
  • Speaker, HSPA Annual Conference, Virtual Presentation (2020)
  • Author, Healthcare Purchasing News Article (2019/2020)
  • Speaker, Delaware Valley Chapter Conference (2018)
  • Speaker, HSPA Annual Conference (2017)

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

Serving on the HSPA Board of Directors has broadened my understanding for how much work is still required to improve our outreach of education and professional recognition.  As an authentic transformational leader with a passion to serve, I am ready to lead our organization toward preeminence in providing educational resources and professional development opportunities for all Sterile Processing (SP) technicians.

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

Certification and the recognition of certified technicians by healthcare facility executives is a critical issue our SP profession will face over my possible Board tenure.  HSPA’s role in addressing these issues will be to identify and introduce the organization to new communities, sustain and develop new educational and professional resources and platforms.  Our new name, Healthcare Sterile Processing Association and branding will allow these initiatives to be more engaging for decision makers as we move our organization forward.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

If given the opportunity to serve as HSPA’s President-Elect I will humbly use my experience, education and organizational leadership talents to help support our mission by working alongside our Board of Directors, committees and chapters to guide the development and growth of current and new educational and professional platforms. I would also work to develop new opportunities to introduce HSPA to more communities in the U.S. and abroad.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

The last 14 years of my 31 year career in surgical services has been managing sterile processing departments where SP technicians are appreciated, respected and empowered.  Collaboration, organization and providing excellent service are my strengths.  I hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master degree in science and organizational leadership.  I have a gift and talent to create organizational success.  Serving on HSPA’s Board of Directors has allowed me to prove my ability by working with other great thought leaders within our  organization. The outcome of our collaboration led to the first step in transforming our organization with a new professionally recognized name, Healthcare Sterile Processing Association.


Secretary/Treasurer

TAMI HEACOCK, MBA, CRCST, CIS, CHL

Director, Sterile Processing
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Edgewood, Ky

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • Speaker, HSPA Annual Conference 2018,2019
  • Speaker, HSPA Chapter Meetings (Mid-Atlantic Central Service Association; 2019)
  • HSPA Certification Development Subject Matter Expert

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

I would like to raise awareness of the importance of our profession on an international level. I would also like to educate the public of the role Sterile Processing plays in patient safety. My goal is to help HSPA grow in any way in which the organization feels I can help. 

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

I think one of our most critical issues is gaining respect for our profession, so that quality people do not leave Sterile Processing (SP) for other positions. HSPA's role in addressing this is to educate everyone—from the executive level to the patients— on the importance of Sterile Processing and what we need to be successful. Raising our profession is essential to its success.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

I would support the HSPA mission and vision by bringing my experience in both the OR and SP environments. Having experience in both makes collaboration with all key stakeholders easier. I am and always have been a strong advocate for the SP profession. I am passionate about educating people about the significant role SP plays in patient safety. I am committed to mentoring SP professionals and helping them find their career path to achieve their goals.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

As a leader, I pride myself in a servant leadership approach. I place my team members’ success and happiness above my own. I would do the same for the HSPA Board. I am able to step back and recognize that while a decision may best for me or my team, it may not be best for the system as a whole. When I was the SPD Chairperson for Advocate Healthcare, it was a very valuable trait, and I will bring that to the HSPA Board as well.


JAN PRUDENT, BA, CRCST, CIS, CER, CHL, CFER, FCS

Manager, Sterile Processing
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center
Idaho Falls, Idaho

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • Director, HSPA Board of Directors (2020-present)
  • HSPA Certification Development Subject Matter Expert (SME); 2013–2021
  • HSPA Fellowship Recipient (2021)
  • HCA Healthcare Leadership Institute Academy Achievement (2021)
  • Speaker, HSPA Annual Conference (2009, 2013, 2019)
  • Instructor, Central Service Technician Course (hospital)
  • 3M Healthcare and HSPA Sister Hospital Exchange Program (exchange travel with Albert Einstein Medical Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2015)

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

My current role as a Director on HSPA’s Board of Directors has given me critical insights and Board experience that I believe has helped prepare me to assume the role of Secretary-Treasurer. I am passionate about raising the bar for patient safety in the healthcare industry. I feel HSPA is all about doing the right thing. I admire the push toward ethical commitment and quality with a patient focus. Education, certification, collaboration, accountability and communication are essential elements necessary to continue to improve upon processes. Bottom line: I would like to be a part of the effort, above and beyond my local commitment.

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

Technology is an ever-advancing industry. The cycle of identifying issues, research and solutions and implementing these technological advances is never ending. Flexible endoscopes; healthcare costs and reimbursements; new sterilization innovations and techniques; healthcare-acquired infections; new resistant bacterial strains; communication; and education continue to plague the CSSD going forward. HSPA’s role is continuing to advance and promote education, keep up on the healthcare issues and promote ethical solutions by taking on the fight and pushing forward. Collaboration, flexibility, and support while maintaining an ethical compass in patient safety and qualityprocesses is HSPA.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

I am passionate about raising the bar for patient safety in the healthcare industry. This motivation is in alignment with the HSPA mission and vision. I admire the push toward ethical commitment and quality, with a patient focus. I want to contribute to the HSPA quest to improve upon education, certification, collaboration, accountability and communication which represent the essential elements I feel are necessary to continue to enhance processes.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

In addition to already serving on the HSPA Board of Directors, I have held and presently hold several leadership roles both in the community and in the hospital. I also have 16 years of leadership experience in retail prior to my 24 years in healthcare. I have become certified through HSPA, obtaining the CRCST, CIS, CHL, CER (CFER through CBSPD), and also became an HSPA Fellow in 2021. I have obtained certificates in grant writing in order to impact the non-profit community; am presently the Family and Consumer Science Council President; lead two Bonneville County 4-H clubs; consult with the Bonneville County Fair Board; am a member of the Bonneville County Advisory Council; have written grants for the 4-H shooting sports which led to $30,000+ in funding from the Friends of the NRA; and represented Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center by serving on the Idaho Falls Symphony Board’s Fundraising and Gala Committees for three years. I am flexible and think of myself as honest and ethical. I find it hard to settle for good or better and always strive towards best. I have and will continue to further my own education and growth by finding and pursuing opportunities afforded to me. I feel that I have succeeded when I see others succeed in their endeavors and I have contributed even a small amount in helping them achieve their goals. I can make a difference at my hospital, I can provide opportunities for the community, and I would like to be able to make more of a difference in overall safety and quality outcomes.


Directors (2-year term)

SARAH B. CRUZ, CSPDT, CRCST, CHL

CS Quality Education Program Development Coordinator
The Bone & Joint Institute of Hartford Hospital, HHC
Hartford, Conn.

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • President, Connecticut Sterile Processing Association (2021–present)
  • Columnist, HSPA PROCESS magazine (2021–present)
  • Guest, HSPA’s Process This! podcast, Episode 36 (2021)
  • Sterile Processing Certification Program Instructor (2021-present)
  • Industry conference speaker and presenter

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

I want to contribute to the strategic planning of the foundation presentation, representation and recognition in order to help the Board of Directors, Executive Director and HSPA staff members achieve their planning objectives. I also want to empower Sterile Processing frontline technicians (through representation within the HSPA organization) to encourage involvement and support in HSPA’s mission from a boots-on-the-ground approach. Last but not least, I want HSPA to be seen for the professional growth opportunities they supply to frontline technicians, instead of what they “could do more of.”

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

I see three critical issues, in particular: Ensuring we have professional representation at a national level as subject matter experts regarding sterility maintenance; assisting in the transition of frontline Sterile Processing technicians to Sterile Processing leaders and industry contributors; and the need to create key performance indicators (KPIs) that detail and organize a roadmap for implementation success.

HSPA’s role in this is to assist with educational and training opportunities, curriculum and programs resulting in the creation of additional leadership certifications, aside from the CHL.

These additional leadership certifications and training would create quantifiable and tangible ways for healthcare facilities to recognize the technician’s ability to become an effective leader. This will help with their transition to Sterile Processing leadership, as well as our industry’s succession plan. By developing its membership base in this way, HSPA can continue to position itself as the leading benefactor and support to the Sterile Processing profession. The Association’s integrity and commitment to professional advancement for its members and certification holders will be evident by the knowledgeable, quality-focused Sterile Processing professionals employed by healthcare facilities.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

If elected to the Board of Directors, I would work to ensure that all our efforts are aimed at implementing, achieving and updating the strategic plan that is in place and ongoing. I would promote the importance of the IAHCSMM-to-HSPA transition as a move of solidarity to frontline Sterile Processing technicians. I would discuss the purpose of appropriate Sterile Processing representation in the healthcare industry, so our profession would be seen as a viable and vital healthcare contributor by allied health professionals and colleagues. I would also help work with our allied health organizations to garner greater professional recognition and appreciation of the Sterile Processing profession.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

In my full-time role, I joined a department that was undergoing leadership transition and an understaffed, unengaged, burned out, Sterile Processing department. Through strategic incentives, interdepartmental projects, transparency, and transparent KPI creation and process improvements, the department, OR rapport, and C-Suite interaction are all thriving. I work collaboratively with the SPS Manager to support our current team of 36 members, five of whom are in department leadership, in a 24/7/365 staffing rotation.

While creating an onboarding manifesto that covers management and educator responsibilities, I clearly outlined orientation, induction, onboarding, and formal training practices utilized by dedicated preceptors. I have also incorporated professional integrity checks that empower Sterile Processing technicians to channel informal training suggestions.

The C-Suite, perioperative, and SPS Management goals have been included in the creation of the department’s education program. This includes formalized departmental standard operating procedures (SOPs), recreated and outlined standard works and competencies, and created inservice curriculum and training for technicians, entirely from scratch. Beyond that, I created a soft skills and leadership development program that integrates mentorship within the career ladder structure, so leaders are being created and recognized outside of their expected technical duties. There are separate programs for the transitional period between Tech I, Tech II, Tech III, Lead Tech, Supervisor, and Educator training.

In addition to my facility educator role, I am the owner of PRETREAT CSS. In that role, I interact daily with frontline technicians who are experiencing workplace frustrations and professional development dead ends. I build out objective-driven goals and indicators for success with the technician based on their goals within the Sterile Processing profession. I am currently actively mentoring six professionals. I also lead a team of five independent contractors that contribute to PRETREAT CSS’s goals. I regularly host annual, quarterly and monthly meetings; introduce a strategy for business incentives and an action plan for all team members; and effectively delegate responsibilities and access areas for improvement in strategy planning.

Moreover, I work to reinvigorate participation in the Connecticut Sterile Processing Association (a chapter of the HSPA). We have effectively elected four members to the Board of Directors and have created a strategy to make “CT the place for CEs.” We have created a separate strategy to reinvigorate participation in the chapter and within national HSPA. A significant part of the strategy includes diversifying responsibilities and recognizing individuals for the strengths they bring to the group’s incentives.


DENSLEY COKE, MBA, BSHM, CST, CRCST, CHL, CER

Manager, Sterile Processing
Northside Hospital
Cumming, Ga.

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • HSPA Certification Development Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  • President, Georgia Central Service Professional Association (2020–2021)

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

I take the responsibilities of my work very seriously. Being a naturally decisive and inspirational leader, I believe the role of a Director for HSPA’s Board is one I would excel in. Participation on the Board will give me a unique opportunity to share my skills and expertise to help the organization overcome its challenges, increase its value, and elevate its public profile.

I have wanted to serve on the IAHCSMM Board for a few years now as I see so many changes in our industry that have happened and many more changes on the horizon. This is a field that I have been passionate about for many years and have worked my way up the ladder because I want to make a difference in how this field is perceived (and also how this field needs to grow in a technology-driven society to ensure better patient outcomes with real data). I want to show so many leaders out there that they can get selected to the IAHCSMM Board if they just keep fighting for what we see is going on every day on the frontline. This is a field you can want to give up on if you feel your voice is not being heard, you don’t feel respected amongst other hospital leaders, and you don’t know how one person can make a difference. I am here to make a difference for everyone out there who does not feel strong enough to stand up, and for everyone who wants to see changes made. I believe being on the IAHCSMM Board is another step in that direction.

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

I see the critical issues being a shortage of SPD professionals, which can lead to slower turnaround times in Sterile Processing, an understaffed Sterile Processing department, and an increase in improperly sterilized instrumentation. This ultimately results in Sterile Processing delaying on-time starts in the OR. HSPA can provide mentorship program information in publications to help healthcare organizations recruit and retain staff (instructions on pairing a new employee with a mentor is a great component to add to an extended onboarding process, especially in a remote work environment). Mentors can welcome newcomers into the workplace, offer guidance and be a sounding board.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

I would continue to provide educational development about Sterile Processing professionals on  the collegiate level. I recently presented to the Gwinnett Technical College board about my interest in starting an endoscope processing class. This was approved and will begin in the spring semester 2022. My goal is to meet the needs of the healthcare environment in Georgia.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

While I realize that there are many candidates with similar technical skills, the one thing that uniquely sets me apart from other candidates is my passion to inspire others to learn something new and exciting. I am an adjunct instructor at a technical college where I was successful in introducing a Sterile Processing course. I have been teaching this course for the past five years and have had a success rate of 85%. I also serve as an adviser to the College Board and was nominated adjunct Instructor of the Year for 2021. As manager of the Sterile Processing department, I challenged my staff to become certified; to date, 95% are certified. I have developed a relationship with the Operating Room and Infection Prevention, and we now work as an effective team.


BRANDON M. GANTT, MHA, CRCST, CHL, CER

Manager, SPD Education and Training
EHI Shared Surgical Services
Emory Healthcare Inc.
Duluth, Ga.

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • HSPA Annual Conference Poster Presentation (2020)

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

As a caregiver for my grandmother, I was exposed to the implications of quality management and patient safety early in my life. Over the last two decades, my grandmother was afflicted with peripheral vascular disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, and COPD. Receiving quality care was something that I had always taken for granted, as I felt every person had the right to a high standard of physical and mental health. My grandmother's frequent visits to the hospital setting and frequent surgeries made me realize that quality care is not always a guarantee. Her journey started my journey into understanding the role of quality care and how various surgical departments can impact that care. I had so many questions about the areas that could make a surgical case a success or a failure. I knew that quality care went beyond the physician and the nurse. My grandmother's difficult path to good health sparked my motivation to redirect my educational and career goals toward healthcare. It became my goal to have a significant impact on the lives of patients through effective management, clinical coordination, and optimal delivery of healthcare services.

While working at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, I became aware of Sterile Processing and the impact it had on surgical outcomes. Negligence in the Sterile Processing department can have a devastating effect on the patient population. Arguably, the patient is the focal point of all that healthcare providers and professionals do; every action may impact patient outcomes. My goal as an HSPA Board of Director is to ensure that all Sterile Processing technicians understand that patient safety is a shared responsibility. It is the most important part of quality care, and all stakeholders must work together to enhance patient care and create a safer culture.

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

Competency is a common deficiency when it comes to the number of errors made at many healthcare facilities. Recent Sterile Processing incidents in numerous facilities have highlighted the severity of inadequate instrument processing and the adverse health events that may transpire from them. It also points a light on the need for education, personnel training and infection control standards and guidelines. It's imperative that staff have the foundational knowledge that a Sterile Processing trainee program offers, and successfully complete an exam for Sterile Processing certification and maintain it throughout their employment. When I arrived at Emory Healthcare earlier this year, there was a critical need for certified staff, and I implemented a trainee course to facilitate this. As the largest certifying body for Sterile Processing technicians, I would like to see HSPA not only advocate certification but also advocate or partner with organizations to offer trainee programs and curriculum. Through education, professional development and certification, trainee certification programs aid in the development of critical thinking skills needed for reprocessing reusable surgical instrumentation. Certification creates a base standard of knowledge and skills that act as a foundation that can be built upon.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

It may sound cliched, but in order for our members to embrace our values, they must see them in action from the members of the HSPA Board. HSPA's mission will be at the core of all that I do—from acting as a representative to meeting with organizations and governing bodies to further our agenda. As a leader, my role is to walk the talk and ensure that the rest of the organization follows. I want to be a champion for Sterile Processing and raise awareness to the work that we do and the importance and significance of the role. As has often been said, if we don't get it right in SPD, the surgeon won't get it right in the OR.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

My healthcare career spans stints at LifeBridge Health in Maryland, Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, Mercy Medical Center in Maryland, and Penn State Health in Pennsylvania. All of these roles have afforded me robust experience in this particular field of infection prevention and have shown me how healthcare-associated infections are a critical challenge to public health in the U.S. I believe the experiences and challenges that I have encountered, along with my previous education, would make me an excellent addition the Board of Directors.

While serving as manager of Sterile Processing and OR Materials Management at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, I have still found time to challenge myself academically by completing a Master of Healthcare Administration program at Colorado State University–Global Campus in December 2019. With a healthcare career that spans 17 years, I have always shown myself to be a constant learner, with a keen thirst for knowledge. Furthermore, my understanding of infection prevention, healthcare quality, and patient safety has served me well in my recent career.


BEATE GRAETER, MHA, BSN, RN, RCIS, RCES, CRCST, CHL

Director, Sterile Processing
CaroMont Health/CaroMont Regional Medical Center
Gastonia, N.C.

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • Instrumental in the development and implementation of a new SPD technical academic program at the local community college (Gaston College, Gastonia, N.C.). The program is in development and will be ready for enrollment in August 2022.

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

Serving on the HSPA Board of Directors is an opportunity for me to do more for the Sterile Processing profession and represent a team that, in general, is unnoticed, underappreciated and under-represented in the healthcare Industry. I was introduced to Sterile Processing a few years ago as a nurse, and like most nurses, I knew very little about the work "in the basement" that functions like an engine to keep our hospitals, surgery centers and many departments running. I have been able to introduce a professional culture to our SPD team—making changes on a small scale through innovative actions and ideas that I knew to be the norm in other healthcare professions. I have learned to appreciate and enjoy the work we do in the SPD, and it is time for me to do more for the profession.

In this role on the HSPA Board of Directors, I would be able to represent our member's interests, act on their behalf and ensure we continue to grow the profession for our patients’ safety. I believe HSPA can benefit from my extensive clinical background and my professional experiences, but this role will also help me and my team to continue to learn and grow in the future. I am looking forward to encouraging education at a broader level and being part of the professional development of Sterile Processing technicians of the future. As a lifelong patient advocate, I would like to become an advocate for the profession, for our members and our patients. I hope that in this role I can influence and facilitate healthcare policy change.

On an international level, it may come in handy that I am bilingual and speak, read and write English and German (fluent).

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

The Sterile Processing profession will continue to face challenges with securing the needed human resources to operate safely and efficiently in the future. The recent pandemic has made the labor shortage in the SPD even more difficult. As a non-revenue generating department in the healthcare setting, many SPDs continue to face cutbacks and outdated technology that is too expensive to replace. In addition, medical/surgical technology moves forward at a rapid pace, making requirements for safe processing more complex, difficult and time consuming (i.e., robotic surgery, complex loaner instrumentation, etc.). The uniqueness of the profession and the fact that most people don't know what Sterile Processing technicians do (as well as the lack of academic programs in the field) only complicate the situation. These challenges require a fresh, new approach. We will need to spend a significant amount of energy over the next few years to ensure that the profession moves away from the traditional notion of "manufacturing" toward the recognition of the Sterile Processing Instrument Technician as a complex clinical profession in healthcare. How can we continue to keep our patients safe if we refuse to make the investment into needed highly qualified human resources?

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

As a nurse, a lifelong student, educator, and patient advocate in a variety of healthcare settings (in the U.S. as well as in Germany), I believe I will be able to expand and apply my ideas, accomplishments, successes (and failures?) at a broader level, nationally and internationally. My strengths and extensive experience in collaborating with key stakeholders in the healthcare field will be beneficial to obtain the needed support to promote patient safety and raise the level of expertise and recognition for the Sterile Processing profession. I believe that it is my duty to do everything in my power to elevate Sterile Processing technicians to the level that will be recognized as one of the chief principles for patient safety.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

I am a dedicated, energetic, results-oriented leader with demonstrated strengths in patient care, education, process improvement, and administration. I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of healthcare settings in the U.S. and Germany and have been recognized as a successful change manager. I am known for my highly visible and engaged leadership style and my ability to turn departments with sub-standard performances to high-performing areas in the healthcare setting. My strengths are in finding unique, creative and safe ways to reduce key performance indicator (KPI) failures, errors, non-compliance, and employee turnover. I have developed and implemented a number of educational programs in nursing as well as the SPD, developed an SPD career ladder, and was instrumental in the development and implementation of a new SPD technical academic program at a local community college. I have extensive experience in collaborating with healthcare key stakeholders and I am a lifelong learner. I seek new challenges in areas I am not familiar with in my desire to learn and grow professionally. I am a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.


KEN HARE, CRCST

Assistant Manager, Sterile Processing
UC San Diego Health–Jacobs Medical Center
La Jolla, Calif.

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • Participant, HSPA webinar series “A Conversation with Industry Leaders”
  • President, California Central Service Association (2021–present)
  • Regional Director, California Central Service Association Regional Director (2016–2020)
  • Member-at-Large, California Central Service Association (2015)

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

I am interested in serving on the HSPA Board of Directors because I believe in the vision and mission of the organization. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with my peers, not only on just a local or state level, but nationally.

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Sterile Processing professionals have been tasked as a first level of defense in combating a deadly virus. We’ve all learned a lot of the past year, but the reality is the fight’s not over. As the COVID-19 virus continues to morph and new strands become known, Sterile Processing departments will continue to face staffing shortages and fatigue—and this has sparked the growing need for hospitals to bring in travel technicians who are willing to step in to help care for our patients. HSPA’s role is to serve as a resource for all hospital leadership and staff to have the latest information available in order to operate safely and responsibly in a world of uncertainty, especially when it comes to supply chain shortages and temporarily assigned staff.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

As a member of the national HSPA Board of Directors, I would support the push for required certification in every state of the union and beyond.  As a thought leader, I would continue to encourage and educate those currently in the field of Sterile Processing (as well as others looking to get into the profession) about the importance of attaining certification. 

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

I have 16 years of sterile processing experience, carrying titles along the way as a Team Leader, Educator, Education Coordinator and Sterile Processing Manager. I am a past President of the Georgia Central Service Professional Association and a current, active board member.

Unlike most, I first started my career as an OR technician/SPD technician in the U.S. Navy. For the past 25 years, I’ve worked my way up from a frontline technician to middle management. I pride myself as a servant leader, a teacher, and an outside-the-box thinker. I currently hold a BA in Business Management, and a green belt in lean six sigma.


HAFIZ ABDUL MANNAN, MPhil, BSc, CRCST

In-Charge, CSSD
Hameed Latif Hospital
Lahore, Pakistan

HSPA and Industry Involvement

  • Board of Director, Pakistan Chapter of HSPA (2020–2022)
  • Founded/launched two-year CSSD diploma program in Punjab Medical Faculty, Government of Pakistan
  • Earned Shield Award for active participation in Reprocessing of Medical Devices seminar from Total Technologies Pvt Ltd (2020)
  • Awarded “Best Performance Certificate” and “Certificate of Excellence in Patient Safety” from Hameed Latif Hospital on occasion of Sterile Processing Week (2019–2020)
  • Named “Leader of Education in Pakistan” by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (2021)
  • Certified Registered Engineer by the Pakistan Engineering Council

Why do you want to serve on the HSPA Board of Directors?

I want to promote patient safety worldwide by raising the level of expertise and recognition for the Sterile Processing (SP) profession by providing educational, professional development, certification, communication, and representation opportunities for SP professionals through collaboration efforts with allied partners, members and associates—and by advocacy initiatives for public policy changes. I want to share knowledge and expertise worldwide, while also representing developing countries; represent Pakistan’s SP professionals on the international level; and create new innovations and discoveries for SP professionals. I am ready to embrace this mission. Being part of the Board of Directors would provide an opportunity to build my knowledge and technical expertise to promote ongoing quality and professionalism within healthcare. This opportunity would give me the change to gather and share healthcare knowledge on the international platform.

Describe the critical issues you think the sterile processing profession will face over your possible Board tenure. What is HSPA’s role in addressing these issues?

I believe Sterile Processing will continue to face barriers in regard to education and advocacy. We need to continue increasing the visibility of our profession. We also need to engage our partners to become better advocates for our profession.

Additionally, I believe our chapters need more tools and resources to support their work. We also have members in areas without chapter representation or who belong to chapters that aren’t very active. We should develop methods to engage these members more and support advocacy and educational opportunities in these areas.

HSPA has done a great job of providing online competencies, training forms, podcasts, webinars and Envision videos, which we show to our staff on a regular basis. Perhaps, HSPA could also get more feedback from people out there doing the job. Having more articles that highlight what they do at their facility could be beneficial for helping others share ideas.

How would you support the current mission and vision of HSPA?

Education is paramount. HSPA has always done a great job of promoting education and certification, and the ongoing need for knowledge advancement within the profession. Also, HSPA has always been passionate about professionalism and patient safety. If I am elected to serve of HSPA’s Board of Directors, I would support HSPA in these critical areas by speaking with members and others in the profession, sharing my knowledge and directing them to all the resources HSPA offers. I would also work with other Board members to come up with new ways to benefit our members and certificants and the profession at large. HSPA is growing and that shows in how successful we have been. Getting the word out about the importance of education and certification is what keeps our organization moving forward. I want to give back to SP professionals by volunteering my time to help advance HSPA’s mission.

Describe any unique qualifications such as leadership, life and business expertise that may set you apart from other candidates and position you to be an effective leader.

I currently work as an In-Charge CSSD [commonly known as SPD manager in the U.S.] in a 354-bedded private sector, post-graduate teaching hospital in the heart of Lahore, Pakistan. This hospital is very concerned with providing the highest quality healthcare to its patients. Our state-of-the-art, recently refurbished department is well maintained and provides backup to 14 operation theatres, two angioplasty units, delivery units, medical and neonatal intensive care units and more.

I have searched worldwide to gain and improve upon my knowledge. I have received national/international certifications with HSPA as well as DGSV/SGSV, CBSPD, PIM (Lahore, Pakistan) and PEC. I also attended international decontamination and sterilization workshops, UAE, and am a Sterile Processing technician DGSV/SGSV from Jakarta, Indonesia, under RUMED academy. Additionally, I developed a nationwide society, the Central Sterilization Society of Pakistan–CSSP, and the society’s membership is growing day by day. Moreover, I am writing a local Urdu short-book on CS/SP, and my Mphil degree is ongoing (specialized in Total Quality Management).

 I have delivered lectures for awareness of sterilization services on CS/SP in many institutions, including: Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) Lahore; Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad; Bio Medical Engineering Centre, UET, Lahore; Riphah International University, Biomedical Engineering Department, Islamabad; and Pakistan Institute of Management, Lahore.

 For the first time in the history of Pakistan, I launched the short training courses in collaboration with Hameed Latif Hospital and Rashid Latif Medical College for all healthcare professionals (included with hands-on-practice sessions). The courses were CME approved by University of Health Sciences-UHS, Pakistan and CBSPD, and I have received very positive feedback from all over the country. Furthermore, I have scheduled similar workshop sessions for the near future.

This commitment to advancing Sterile Processing (SP) knowledge, skill sets and professionalism is why over 40,000 members and certification holders rely on HSPA to keep them sharp, focused and abreast of the very latest standards, best practices and technological advancements impacting the SP profession.

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